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Did I Mess Up??? Music???

Bobert 26 Jul 11 - 07:42 PM
Lox 26 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 08:07 PM
Bobert 26 Jul 11 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Jon 26 Jul 11 - 09:29 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 09:47 PM
maeve 26 Jul 11 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Russ 26 Jul 11 - 10:19 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 10:30 PM
Bobert 26 Jul 11 - 10:37 PM
GUEST,Jon 26 Jul 11 - 10:46 PM
maeve 26 Jul 11 - 10:50 PM
Bobert 26 Jul 11 - 11:09 PM
maeve 26 Jul 11 - 11:12 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 11:25 PM
Bobert 26 Jul 11 - 11:30 PM
andrew e 26 Jul 11 - 11:58 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jul 11 - 03:41 AM
Will Fly 27 Jul 11 - 06:14 AM
foggers 27 Jul 11 - 07:45 AM
Bobert 27 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Jul 11 - 01:02 PM
meself 27 Jul 11 - 01:24 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jul 11 - 01:49 PM
Will Fly 27 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM
DonMeixner 27 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM
fat B****rd 27 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Jul 11 - 02:23 PM
Bobert 27 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM
DrugCrazed 28 Jul 11 - 07:53 PM
Bobert 28 Jul 11 - 08:03 PM
DrugCrazed 29 Jul 11 - 03:51 AM
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Subject: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 07:42 PM

This is going to be hard to ask because the information I have to relate may tip off some folks as to who I am talking about and that could be embarrassing for a lot of folks, me included...

I went to hear an older bluesman last night who was old school and liked to tune by ear... His band consisted of another guitar player and a drummer... Actually he travels with two guitar players but only performs with one or the other depending on the sets...

Anyway, he had played about 45 minutes and slightly out of tune... That's okay with me... But about 45 minutes into playing he tried to re-tune and re-tuned and re-tuned and re-tuned and it was apparent to anyone who plays guitar that he was completely lost... This went on far an excruciating 15 minutes and none of his band mates made any attempt to help him get in tune... It was a small venue (maybe 100 people) and after those 15 minutes there were only about 30 people left with the rest outside...

I mean, this guy is well known but is at a very advanced age and I felt so embarrassed for him... This is a guitarists worst nightmare so I kinda stepped up on stage and tapped him in the shoulder and asked "You in trouble" and he nodded that he was and so I offered to tune his guitar for him and he lifted it as to indicate that he was accepting my offer...

Then his other guitarist steps in and the two of went about trying to get the guitar re-tuned... BTW, it was electric so I couldn't hear it at all... His other guitarist started cussing me and saying that "_____ was going to really be pissed at him/her later" so I said, "Hey, just let me take it outside and I'll tune it out there where I can half hear it and I'll be right back..."

So I made it as far as the door when this guy shows up and says, "Hey, you can't take the guitar out" and I say, "Hey, it needs to be tuned"... Then this guy takes it, goes back on stage, tunes it and took over where the rude guoitarist had been and thing went well after that...

My question is... Where was this gu at the 10 minute mark when their man was in troubles and...

Secondly, did I cross any lines here??? I mean, 15 minutes in my book was way past where someone should have stepped in...

I donno???

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Lox
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM

Sounds to me like you did the right thing.

You can't count on folks having the same awareness as you.

I would say that he should have had an electric tuner for an emergency, and if he didn't have his with him, one of his band mates should have stepped in with a spare.

Tuning by ear on stage is notoriously unreliable.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 08:07 PM

Bobert, I think you did the right thing. Two reasons:

1) I have met and worked with some older blues players, and many of them don't see themselves as 'stars'; they still see every venue as just another juke joint where they have to play to earn their drinks and a little cash. He probably saw you as just a fellow 'musicianer' (David 'Honeyboy' Edwards' term for us players) and was grateful for the help. Ditto because he was older and humble enough to realize his ear ain't what it used to be.

2) This is, to me, the more pressing reason... you needed to step in because there were probably plenty of people in that room who wouldn't even have known if the damned guitar was in or out of tune at all. You needed to set it right so the people in the room could actually hear what was supposed to be coming out of the instrument.

I've played too many rooms and watched too many performances where the audience were a bunch of people who wouldn't know F-sharp from sharp cheddar. All they know is that the person on stage is doing something they can't do, they think it's somehow magical, and they proceed to "woo-hoo!" at every given chance, knowing not whether what they are hearing is good, mediocre or utter ca-ca.

Kudos for trying to be kind and offering to do the right thing.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 09:12 PM

Whew... I'm feeling better... This has bothered me all day... I mean, I have never done anything like that but then again I've never been witness to a 15 minute meltdown... I know the first guitarist who cussed me out should have stepped in at maybe the two minute mark and helped him out...

BTW, in some circles this guy is every bit as well known as Honey Boy Edwards...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 09:29 PM

I know the first guitarist who cussed me out should have stepped in at maybe the two minute mark and helped him out

It does sound a rather odd but going by your account, perhaps he'd been there and done that before and didn't fancy backstage rows afterwards or something like that?


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 09:47 PM

Bobert it's pretty clear you did the right thing, and that someone had to--I'd have butted my nose in sooner, maybe annoyed people who thought he should be allowed more chance to solve the problem himself, or whatever irrelevant thing they thought while the performance went to hell in a handbasket.

Jon, that's often the dynamic, and if it is the case, would the lot of them please step up and pretend they're adults so they can (1) accept that sometimes things must be done not as a personal affront but for the sake of the performance, and (2) don't be a jerk when someone needs help, be gracious. It's free.

Bobert, here's what I can't make sense of: Your OP at the very start implies that the musicians' anonymity is important. You say you think these guys will be identifiable by some Mudcatters. Okay then, wouldn't that suggest maybe one shouldn't start the thread at all? But okay you did, it's done. And THEN you post a stage name to the thread. What happened to your concern about these guys being identifiable? Kind of looks like you really do want to out these guys, especially the ones who (a) didn't help when it was needed and then (b) got in your way when you were helping. Have I got it right or did I misunderstand something?

As for feeling embarrassed for the guy, I hope it's not because he had a tuning brain-cramp--after all who hasn't--but because he wouldn't or couldn't get timely help for the problem. That's poor musicianship, I'm afraid. I say this having no idea who these people are, even know the stage name. I hope they can just chalk it up to a bad night after too many days on the road.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:09 PM

Crowhugger, I think you may have misunderstood Bobert's latest post here. He has carefully NOT named the gentleman in question.

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:19 PM

Bobert,

I Can't fault you.

But you know what good intentions are worth.

Never having been a performer, much less a performer with a band, I find it extremely odd that the other guitarist was content to let him struggle for 15 mintues.

There's a whole lot of backstory to the incident that we don't know.

I think that the lhe only line you crossed was getting involved in some sort of "family" matter.

Talk about thankless.....

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:30 PM

Ah yes, thanks. You're right maeve, this "BTW, in some circles this guy is every bit as well known as Honey Boy Edwards..." is what I misread. One mystery is all cleared up, woohoo! Now, how many times did I read that incorrectly? I shudder to count...

Sorry for that confusion Bobert! So now, scratch my remark about saying the guy's name. However the other part does still addles me: When anonymity is important and if some will know who he's talking about, I see get why start the thread.

Not that it matters a great deal, just wondered when I read the OP.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:37 PM

No problem here, crowhug....

This is one thread that isn't about scoring points... I am terribly embarrassed for the performer... I am pissed at the "other" guitar player who let this guy dangle in the wind...

Yeah, I'm sure there are things I don't understand about the dynamics within the band...

I just feel terrible even if I did the right thing but...

...if I am playing at this guys age I'd love some kid to tune my guitar for me... Let me fine tune, but at least get it to 440...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:46 PM

I am terribly embarrassed for the performer... I am pissed at the "other" guitar player who let this guy dangle in the wind...

While I'm not saying it would be the right thing to do or if this is what had happened but...

IF, say I'd "rescued" the old bloke several times only to find afterwards I got yelled at for "showing him up in public by tuning his instrument", it's possible I would be reluctant to help out again.

Yeah, I'm sure there are things I don't understand about the dynamics within the band...

But at the same time you seem to be pretty certain that the failing lies purely with the "other" guitar player.

It seems to me none of us knows the full story...


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:50 PM

You made your decision based on what you could see, Bobert. The player appeared to appreciate the offer. Beyond that, I wouldn't fret.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:09 PM

Thanks but...

...hey, its going to bother me fir a while...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:12 PM

Sure it is. Perhaps you'll have a chance to gain some insight into the situation down the road.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:25 PM

Yes, that would be a great future step, to have the chance to reflect on it over a beer with one or two of the guys, when no one is feeling defensive, even have some laughs over the utter absurdity of such a scene--who will believe it really went on for that long!

This is the just kind of event in life that gives us the best stories for the grandkids..."He tuned for SO LONG that moss started to grow on his fretboard..."


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:30 PM

LOL!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: andrew e
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:58 PM

Every now and again we all do, or say something which can make us feel awkward afterwards.
There's no right or wrong. You did what you felt was right at the time.
Sometimes we are taken by surprise by other people's attitudes.
The awkward feeling will pass.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 03:41 AM

I think you were right - and I think the musician needs a Korg in-line (or a clip-on) on stage and the guitarist who isn't playing off stage with a Peterson and a spare guitar.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 06:14 AM

Bobert, I started tuning my tenor banjo when I was 24 - I'm nigh on 67 now and I'm not quite there yet. can you help out at all?


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: foggers
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 07:45 AM

Bobert - I agree with what others have said. You took the actions you thought were right at the time. The reactions of some others can only be understood if you ever get to know their full "back story"; for now I hope you feel reassured by these responses and time of course will fade that awkwardness that is still hovering.

And to Will Fly's post:

"Bobert, I started tuning my tenor banjo when I was 24 - I'm nigh on 67 now and I'm not quite there yet. can you help out at all?"

I (a 5 string banjo player) will reply with one of my fave banjo jokes...
Q; How long does it take to tune a banjo?
a: Nobody knows!


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM

Thanks all... As fir the banjo tuning, see foggers post... lol...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:02 PM

I think it was very good of you to try and help. Sadly many notable folk guitarists go through ridiculously long tuning up routines wile scorning electric tuners and can be quite rude if you offer to lend them one. And if you're paying to listen in to the bargain, then it's just plain rude and thoughtless to the audience, No one should take more than 2 or 3 minutes to re tune between songs


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: meself
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:24 PM

Seems to me that all that matters is the reaction of your main man - in my admittedly somewhat-limited experience, most of these older blues guys will not hesitate to let you know if they are displeased (in fact, they might even write a song about it!) - this guy's humbly handing over his guitar to you, rather than telling you to go - etc. - indicates to me that he appreciated your help. You did the right thing; you helped an old guy who was in a bad situation. Whatever the other guitarist feels about it is not your problem, and really he/she had no business taking out their emotions on you. It is possible that the old guy will take out his feelings of humiliation or fear or whatever on the band - that's their tough luck, and nothing to do with you.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:49 PM

Going from one tuning that is not standard tuning to another that is not standard tuning is only marginally helped by using an electronic tuner because the changes in tension mean that you have to get it nearly right first (to get the guitar's structure sort of on balance) and then get it RIGHT. Also the repeated octaves in many non-standard tunings have to be spot on if they are not going to howl - and because the guitar is an equal temperament fretted instrument you may need to tweak a non-standard tuning for what you are going to play. The last two parts can not be done accurately enough with most tuners, and unless a Petersen will deal with natural intervals or just intervals it won't do it either. So if that, Desi C, was a side-swipe at Martin Carthy I don't think it is justified.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:51 PM

The point is that the most important component in all this is the audience, fer chrissakes! Personal animosities, problems, relationships, etc., can all go to hell in a handcart. Make it good for the audience.

Bobert mention in the opening post that the audience was reduced to around 30 because of the tuning problem. Did no-one in the band clock that?

What a way to behave...


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM

Hi Bob,

I learned years ago that I needed help tuning all the time. I have a significant hearing loss. !00% on the right side of my head and 30% on the left. I hear big sounds but not subtle ones. If I play guitar by itself I hear the guitar fine enough but when I start to sing I only hear my voice. For me it is the effect of striking a chord to find the key and then singing A Capella for the whole song and then finishing with another chord.

Either I have a lot of very polite people in Central New York or I am very good at staying in key. Either way I am never sure.

If some one came up to me to say "Your B string is some considerable flat." I'd say "Thanks."

The best day of my musical life was the invention of the affordable electronic tuner.

I have always found exact change to be more useful than perfect pitch anyway.

Don


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: fat B****rd
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM

Bobert, guilt on your part is totally unnecessary , apart from the feelings of a normal decent human being.
Anybody on this site will know of your reverence and respect for musicians of all genres and Bluesmen in particular.
When I used to go out more I saw a few acts who turned out to be far more human - that is to say not superhuman - than I expected.
You did the right thing.
Charlie.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 02:23 PM

You were fine, bobert. As you say: "I kinda stepped up on stage and tapped him in the shoulder and asked "You in trouble" and he nodded that he was and so I offered to tune his guitar for him and he lifted it as to indicate that he was accepting my offer..."

All perfectly normal and gracious, if you ask me. Good for you!

Some have hinted that there's a mysterious backstory to the antagonism of the other musicians. I suspect that the 'backstory' is that they were full of beer.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM

The "other guitarist" and I were talking before the gig and he/she was purdy belligerent toward everyone... I mean, maybe this guitarist had learned that "mah man" didn't like anyone in the band telling him anything but I don't think so...

No matter... Every band I've been in I want everyone to shine, shine, shine... Why not??? If they shine, then the band shines and if the band shine then everyone shines...

I'm over this but feel sorry for "mah man" if they gonna let him twist in the wind...

Nuff said on my end...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 07:53 PM

I have but one question (and no, you shouldn't feel embarressed): Was he just tuning or talking at the same time?

Last time I saw JoCo, he broke his G string mid song, continued playing with pauses whenever he was meant to be playing a D chord to joke about it being weird, and once he was done handed the guitar to the support act who proceeded to restring the guitar while JoCo did a quick Q&A. Another string breaks during this, but not many people notice (I only did because there was a question about something and I caught it out of the corner of my eye). Anyways, guitar is restrung and he plays the first chord of the next song. And laughs, and sings badly out of tune on purpose. So he starts to retune it, while making comments about the whole process. I think at one point the tuning was something like EADF#(ish)GA#(ish)E.

Though JoCo might be a bit of an exception. As he said himself "I've broken 2 guitar strings, spent 10 minutes tuning, made harsh comments about you all, and you still aren't against me. WHAT IN GOD'S NAME DO I HAVE TO DO TO CHANGE THAT!?"

I swear I heard the support act crying with laughter at the side.


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 08:03 PM

No, he wasn't talkin'... He was just tunin'... After I intervened he started to talk with the folks in front of the stage but he was just tunin'... Or attempting to tune...

I mean, yeah... As a performer I know how to use the "fake tuning" to give you space to tell stories... Plus, when you fake tune it sounds like you really know exactly where you want to be when you are exactly where you want to be all along...

(You shouldn't have shared that trickery, Boberdz...)

Hey, these folks are musicians... They all do it...

(No, they don't all do it...)

Well, lots do...

B~


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Subject: RE: Did I Mess Up??? Music???
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Jul 11 - 03:51 AM

Trust me, JoCo wasn't using fake tuning. I wasn't lying about the A#ish.

There might be video footage somewhere. It was a geek concert after all. I'll go and have a look


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